A £10.8 million project, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, will lay the foundations for the Smart Islands Programme by creating an ambitious smart energy system that will provide a model to support the transition to low carbon sustainable communities.
It will be innovative in its scale and range of technologies, linking for example; rooftop solar panels, solar gardens, batteries, domestic heat pumps and electric vehicles through an Internet of things (IoT).
Hitachi Europe Ltd. will lead the project and develop the IoT platform to manage electricity throughout the islands. It will balance supply, storage and demand, allowing the islands to scale up renewable generation and increase their energy independence. Two UK smart energy companies will help to deliver this.
Moixa, the UK’s leading home battery company, has experience managing domestic batteries to help support local energy systems, and will supply the home battery management system to integrate with Hitachi Europe’s platform. Smart home batteries will allow homes with solar panels to save money by using more of the power they generate. They will also be able to import or export energy to balance local energy needs.
Moixa will build on this expertise to develop the Electric Vehicle Management System, which will control and optimise how the batteries included in electric vehicles can be utilised by the IoT platform.
PassivSystems, the leading home energy services company, will supply the home energy management systems for domestic buildings and building energy monitoring systems for commercial properties allowing them to be integrated into the IoT platform.
Rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems will be installed on 100 homes, a tenth of the island’s housing stock, and two 50kW solar gardens will be built. They will deliver at least 448kW of renewable energy and reduce the islands’ carbon footprint.
Energy management systems will be installed in the 100 solar homes and in 190 of the islands businesses. Ten of these will be smart homes piloting a variety of additional smart energy technologies including Moixa smart batteries and air source heat pumps. These technologies have the potential to significantly increase savings from solar PV.
The support to the 190 businesses on the Isles of Scilly is aimed at improving their productivity and optimising the benefits of Smart Islands through a series of interventions. A further 10 supply chain businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly will be supported to develop new products and services to directly engage with the Smart Islands programme.
This smart energy system will be a key enabler for the Isles of Scilly to connect further renewable power towards the Smart Islands target of 40% renewable generation, and it will support their ambition to reduce energy bills for local people and see 40% of vehicles being electric or low-carbon by 2025.